With all the talk of PA's wanting a new name and both parties wanting to practice their full scope in all states, I think it should be discussed together. I realize the nuances between the two groups, but one cannot deny how similar the two are in what most do on a day to day basis. NP's name is so well known it would be hard to change (never thought it was an issue until i saw another thread, but i think its not even a thought). PA's could change to physician associate because people would probably not notice, and i think it fits what they do better.
As far as both go, it seems with scope there is independence from physicians, and the extent to which they can practice medicine/nursing/whatever(another discussion). Here in the SC, PA's can practice medicine more freely (my impression) but must be in practice with a physician who has to be in the building a certain percentage, but the paperwork is hardly anything. NP's have freedom to see patients where they want, have do not have as much freedom to treat as they please, and have to follow protocols set out in collaboration agreement. I know its different in every state, so this discussion is not valid for everywhere (talking to you wyoming NP's) but i think the two groups should be discussed together.
I think both NP's and PA's are (for the most part) well educated and valuable to the community. I also think that NP's who trade independence to practice with an MD should have the increased scope(if they are trained) PA's have. Also, If a PA wishes to practice with more independently a collaborative agreement, it should be allowed, but with stipulations, such as not do things the PA would have done knowing there is a physician backing him/her up.